II Thess 3:3-7: “3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. 6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you;”
Paul, in his final words to the Thessalonians was giving them sound advice about keeping their faith strong and guarding against the temptations from the devil. Paul says, “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us”. There is wisdom in walking in fellowship with people who hold to your values and convictions. We, as Christ-followers fellowship with like-minded believers for strength and for support. Who else will understand the pain or suffering that I go through? Who else can understand the victories and the answered prayers then one who has similar beliefs? If I continue having fellowship with those who do not understand my lifestyle or hold to my convictions there will be conflict. Either I will fall back into a lifestyle that does not honor Christ, or I will hide my beliefs and convictions because I do not want to offend my friends. Either one of these options is substandard for a Christ-follower.
Paul tells these believers to withdraw from those who do not walk in the same way as they do. However, we should not be mean or treat them as an infectious plague. In fact later in this scripture Paul says, “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” We are called to live a new life after we become Christ-followers. Paul writes in another book, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” This word means we do not remain the same; we now have a new life that includes our associations. If we want to succeed in this wonderful journey of faith we need to realize when Jesus is invited into our life, he will change all aspects of our life and make us new.
Old Testament: Jer. 5-6 New Testament I Tim. 1